Writing by Patrick Keddie
6th OF OCTOBER CITY, EGYPT – Blood was spattered across the floor of the café and on the walls of the kitchen counter. In the corner were smashed sheesha pipes. A computer monitor lay crumpled on a desk. It was the aftermath of a brutal attack that the café owner described as “like something out of an action film”.
Late on 23 November, around 10 masked assailants armed with short machetes and sticks burst into the café, slashing, hacking, and beating customers.
The café, mostly frequented by Sudanese refugees, is in Masakin Osman, a bleak suburb of 6th of October City, a desert settlement 20 miles outside of Cairo. The incident was the most extreme in a recent series of attacks on Sudanese refugees in Masakin Osman that have left many residents frightened and bewildered.
Hassan*, a 29-year old Darfuri refugee, was working in the café’s kitchen at the time of the attack and was one of the worst injured. He recounted the ordeal while shivering in a hospital bed, his head wrapped in bandages that covered a deep wound to the back of his skull. Two men had also sliced through his arms and hands with machetes as he raised them to protect himself.
Hassan didn’t recognise the attackers but says he could tell from their dialect that they were Sudanese. At least four people were injured.
While there was much confusion and speculation over the attacks, a picture has emerged from testimonies gathered from victims, residents, and community workers suggesting that they were reprisals carried out by a Sudanese gang on local residents who had taken security into their own hands.
[Read the rest of the article published by Middle East Eye here]